Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, has opposed the outright restriction of cryptocurrency, calling instead for a regulation of the decentralised digital currency.

Speaking on Friday, at a one-day special summit themed: ‘CBN/ Bankers’ Committee’s Initiative for Economic Growth’, the former University of Lagos professor addressed top bank chief executive officers, and first “[appreciated] the strong position of the CBN, SEC, and some of the anti- corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns” before demanding for “further reflection” on the part of this financial authorities.

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There is a role for regulation here. And it is in the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory rules that address these serious concerns without killing the goose that lay the golden eggs,” recommended Nigeria’s second-in-command.

These are very well articulated by the regulatory authorities. But we must ensure that we are in a position to prevent any of the adverse side effect like criminal act that may arise in the course of adopting any any of these options.”

He also requested quick adaptation on the part of the banks, so as to remain in synchronisation with the rest of the world in technological advancement,

First is that there is no question that blockchain technology generally, and cryptocurrencies in particular, will become a challenge for traditional banking in ways that you cannot get to imagine. So, we need to be prepared for that sensitive shift. And sooner or later, remittances can have a challenge too because blockchain technology will provide far cheaper functions to the kind of fees being paid today for cross border transfers to banks.”

The VP also diplomatically rebuffed CBN governor Godwin Emefiele’s outlandish claims that digital money was “scary”, describing the technology as “exciting”,

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“Clearly, the future of money and finance, especially for traditional banking must be exciting as it is frightening. We see in many other sectors, disruptions make for efficiency and profit.”

The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudence and care in adopting them , but we must act with knowledge and not fear,”  finalized the presidential statesman.

The CBN had reiterated their stance on cryptocurrency in a press briefing on Thursday, with Emefiele describing it as “money made out of thin air in an electronic dark world.” He, representation of the Central Bank also addressed the summit, briefing the audience and press on the economic report of the country.

 

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